Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage currently has a $64.00 price objective on the insurance provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective suggests a potential upside of 4.76% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Hartford Financial’s third-quarter 2019 adjusted operating earnings of $1.50 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 19% and improved 30.4% on higher revenues and Commercial Lines business. Its shares have outperformed its industry in a year's time. Its strategic divestitures pave the way for long-term growth. Its investment results and capital management are impressive. Its results have improved owing to a sturdy underwriting, strong investment performance and lower tax rates. The acquisition of Navigators will expand its Commercial Lines business by enhancing its product offerings and increasing geographical reach. Its decreasing debt level is also impressive. However, it is exposed to catastrophic loss, weighing down its margins. Softness in Personal Lines segment and escalating expenses are other concerns.”

Other analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Royal Bank of Canada raised their price target on Hartford Financial Services Group from $68.00 to $70.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday. ValuEngine raised Hartford Financial Services Group from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 5th. MKM Partners raised their price target on Hartford Financial Services Group to $70.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 5th. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on Hartford Financial Services Group from $58.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 15th. Finally, Buckingham Research raised their price target on Hartford Financial Services Group from $60.00 to $63.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, July 19th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $63.92.

Shares of NYSE:HIG traded up $0.09 during trading on Thursday, reaching $61.09. 2,090,048 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,033,708. The firm has a market capitalization of $21.84 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.11, a P/E/G ratio of 1.18 and a beta of 0.62. Hartford Financial Services Group has a 52-week low of $40.54 and a 52-week high of $61.63. The company has a current ratio of 0.29, a quick ratio of 0.28 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.28. The business’s fifty day moving average is $58.92 and its 200-day moving average is $56.76.

Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, November 4th. The insurance provider reported $1.50 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.24 by $0.26. Hartford Financial Services Group had a return on equity of 12.69% and a net margin of 8.66%. The company had revenue of $5.35 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.22 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.15 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 10.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, sell-side analysts predict that Hartford Financial Services Group will post 5.47 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other Hartford Financial Services Group news, EVP Martha Gervasi sold 3,672 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, August 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $58.11, for a total value of $213,379.92. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 18,882 shares in the company, valued at $1,097,233.02. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CFO Beth Ann Costello sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, November 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.70, for a total value of $288,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 46,245 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,668,336.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 71,837 shares of company stock valued at $4,273,875. 1.70% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. MUFG Americas Holdings Corp raised its holdings in Hartford Financial Services Group by 3.5% in the third quarter. MUFG Americas Holdings Corp now owns 69,907 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $4,237,000 after purchasing an additional 2,360 shares in the last quarter. Cetera Advisors LLC bought a new position in Hartford Financial Services Group in the third quarter worth $207,000. Checchi Capital Advisers LLC bought a new position in Hartford Financial Services Group in the third quarter worth $259,000. Insight Wealth Strategies LLC bought a new position in Hartford Financial Services Group in the third quarter worth $368,000. Finally, Corient Capital Partners LLC raised its holdings in Hartford Financial Services Group by 4.0% in the third quarter. Corient Capital Partners LLC now owns 4,283 shares of the insurance provider’s stock worth $260,000 after purchasing an additional 166 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 91.62% of the company’s stock.

Hartford Financial Services Group Company Profile

The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc, through its subsidiaries, provides insurance and financial services to individual and business customers in the United States. Its Commercial Lines segment offers workers' compensation, property, automobile, marine, livestock, liability, and umbrella coverages; and customized insurance products and risk management services, including professional liability, bond, surety, and specialty casualty coverages.

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Analyst Recommendations for Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG)

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